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3 -- Part 5: The Foundation of Indian
The devo tional side of Mahayana Buddhism was influenced by the religions of Central Asia, such as Zoroastrian ism.
After enlightenment, Buddhas-to-be stayed in the world to help others on the path to salvation.
The ment to help others on the path to salvation became an object of veneration for the Buddhas.
Bud dhism attracted more and more people.
Buddhism was an important religion in India.
It spread throughout East, Central, and Southeast Asia by that time.
The number of Buddhists in India is small after losing out to Hinduism and Islam.
Buddhism is a major religion in Southeast Asia, Tibet, China, Korea, and Japan.
The old Brahmanic religion was challenged by both Buddhism and Jainism.
Brahmin priests use animal sacrifice as a central element in their rituals.
Both religions tacitly rejected the caste system.
Brahmins retained their high social status, but it became possible for individual worship pers to have more direct contact with the gods.
Hinduism is based on the belief that the Vedas are sacred revelations and that a specific caste system is prescribed in them.
The goal of Hinduism is to reach union with brahman, the unchanging ultimate reality.
The search begins with study of the Vedas in youth and progresses to complete asceticism in old age.
Material gain, as long as moral law is central to Buddhist, is the legitimate pursuit of Hindus, along with pleasure and love for the family, and Hindu teachings.
Hinduism assumes that there are many legitimate ways to worship brah man.
Hinduism should emphasize the roles of thousands of powerful gods.
The three main male deities were the creator, Shiva, the dancer who creates and destroys, and Vishnu, the server and sustainer of creation.
The goddess of wealth and learning is called Lakshmi.
These gods were usually represented by images, either in homes or temples.
People could show their devotion to their gods by making offerings of food or flowers before the images.
There is a stone relief from the Temple of Vishnu in central India that depicts Vishnu reclining on the serpent Shesha.
As he surveys the battlefield, struggling with the grim notion of killing his relatives, Arjuna voices his doubts to his charioteers, none other than the god Krishna.
Krishna told Arjuna the true meaning of Hindu ism when he refused to spill his family's blood.
He told Arjuna the duty to act was to live in the world and be a warrior.
The warrior's duty is to wage war in compliance with his dharma.
Those who live within the divine law without complaint will be re leased from rebirth.
One person's dharma may be different from another's.
The religion of Hinduism was attractive to ordinary Indians because it was complex and sophisticated.
It became the most common religion in India over time.
In the late sixth century b.c.e., the creation of the Persian Empire that stretched from the west coast of Anatolia to the Indus River changed the face of the ancient Near East.
He unified al of north India because he saw this as an opportunity to expand his territories.
The Mauryan Empire flourished under Ashoka's rule, but fell after his death.
India was involved in the turmoil of the sixth century b.c.e.
Persian control did not reach eastward beyond the Punjab, but it did lead to the introduction of new ideas, techniques and materials into India.
Indians learned how to rule large tracts of land from Persian administrators.
They learned how to mint silver coins and used the Per sian monetary standard to facilitate trade with other parts of the empire.
The use of coinage was adopted by states in the Ganges Val ley, which were never part of the Persian Empire.
Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire in 326 b.c.e.
Alexander led his Macedonian and Greek troops into the valley.
The India Alexander encountered was made up of many rival states.
He defeated some of the states in the northwest.
The Greeks were interested in the Indian culture.
Alexander heard of the sophistication of Indian philosophers and summoned some to teach him or debate with him.
Taxila, the center of trade in the Pun jab, was impressed by the Greeks.
Alexander was hoping to find the end of the world from Taxila.
His men refused to continue.
Alexander left his general Seleucus in charge of his eastern region.
The heart of the Mauryan Empire was the Ganges River Valley.
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